Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Attention!
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
John 16

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

John 16:1

Jesus had outlined the coming conflicts (John 15:18-25) so that the disciples would not abandon their faith (literally be caused to stumble). The greatest obstacle his disciples would face was to stumble and renounce their faith before their Jewish opponents (see Matthew 23:34; Luke 6:22), especially during the dark days ahead (see John 12:35; 1 John 2:9-11). - New Living Translation Study Bible. (2008).

να μὴ σκανδαλισθῆτε... This image of the σκάνδαλα of faith, the stumbling-blocks which trip up a disciple, is very common in the Synoptists, but in Jn. only here and at John 6:61 (cf. 1 John 2:10). These parting counsels were given in order that they might not be surprised or “offended” when troubles came. - Bernard, J. H. (1929). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Gospel according to St. John. (A. H. McNeile, Ed.) (Vol. 2, p. 500). New York: C. Scribner’ Sons.

Verse 2

John 16:2

put you out of the synagogue. -- Cf. John 9:22; John 12:42. i.e. excommunicate you. For ἀποσυνάγωγος, compound word.

think he offers God service ... Not all “religions” are good, for some religions will teach their followers that they are doing good when in fact they are doing the horribly evil act of murdering true followers of the Son of God. The apostle Paul himself, prior to his conversion, thought he was serving God by persecuting Christians (see Acts 8:1-3 [where Paul is called Saul]; Galatians 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 1:13).

Verse 4

John 16:4

remember ... Christians may sometime think difficulties and opposition means that God opposes them, but Jesus emphasizes that persecution is to be expected.

because I was with you ... When Jesus was with His disciples, He was able to guide them; it wasn’t necessary for them to know everything that Jesus now teaches them in chs. 14–17 (in advance of his departure).

Verse 5

John 16:5

None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ ... Peter asked this question in John 13:36 (cf. John 14:5), but Jesus, using the present tense, is saying, “None of you right now are asking me …” Peter’s concern earlier was with what would happen to them, not with where Jesus was going; the implied question behind John 13:36 seems to be, “Why are you leaving us?”

Verse 6

John 16:6

sorrow has fillled you heart ... Was it because Jesus announced that he is leaving, or because He had told them of the persecutions which they would experience. I believe it was because of the former, see v.15.

Verse 7

John 16:7

Comforter -- See 1 John 2:1 for wordstudy on Advocate, Comforter, Paraclete

Work of the Holy Spirit -- then and now

How was this done?

1) Through inspired men - 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 2:4

a) Apostles - Acts 2

b) Stephen - Acts 6:3; Acts 6:8; Acts 6:10

c) Philip - Acts 8:6-7

d) and such Spirit guided men; see Acts 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 18

Summary - The Spirit worked in the saving of men by using an inspired messenger.

2) Today - Paul (and other inspired authors) wrote so we would have the same message -

Ephesians 3:3-4 (1 Timothy 3:15; 1cor 14.37; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

- - - - - - - - - - -

For a study on the Work of the Trinity, see the note on ESV Study Bible on John 15:13-14 - presented here.

The Work of the Trinity

Though the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible, by presenting the Father, Son, and Spirit all doing what no one else ever does, the Gospel of John gives us the raw material on which this doctrine is based. Observing what God says and does helps us to know him, and observing which actions are done by which members of the Godhead helps us to see which roles they play.

Action Father Son Spirit
Give life 5:21, 26; (6:33); 17:3 5:21, 25–26, 40; 6:33; 17:3 3:6, 8; 6:63
Proclaim future 1:33 13:19, 26, 36–38; 14:3, 29; 16:1–4, 16–28, 32; 20:18 16:13
Indwell believers 14:23 14:20, 23; (15:4–7); 17:23, 26 14:17
Teach 6:45; 7:16, 17; 8:28 7:14; (8:2); 8:20; 13:13–14 14:26
Testify to Jesus 5:32, 37; 6:27; 8:18 8:12–14, 18 15:26
Glorify Jesus 5:22–23; 8:50, 54; 13:31–32; 17:1, 22 (1:14); 2:11; 13:31–32; 17:5, 24 16:14

Actions Common to Father and Son

Action Father Son
Glorify the Father 4:23; 12:28; 13:31–32 (2:16); (9:3–4); 11:40; 12:28; 13:31–32; 14:13; 17:1, 4–5
Give the Spirit 3:34; 14:16 (4:10–14); (7:37–39); 20:22
Send the Spirit 14:26 15:26; 16:7

Actions Common to Son and Spirit

Action Son Spirit
Be given by the Father 3:16 (4:10–14); 14:16
Be sent by the Father 3:17; 4:34; 5:23–24, 36; 6:29, 57; 7:28–29, 33; 8:16, 26, 29, 42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:42; 12:44–45; 13:20; 15:21; 17:3, 8, 18, 23, 25; 20:21 14:26; 15:26
Speak not from himself (5:19); 5:30; (6:38); 7:16; 12:49–50 16:13
Speak only what he hears 3:32; (3:34); (5:30); 8:26, 40; 12:50; 15:15 16:13
Convict 3:19–20; 4:16, 18; (5:27); (8:7); 8:34, 40; 11:40; 12:7–8; 13:8 16:7–11
Be received 1:12 (cf. 1:10–11) 7:39 (cf. 14:17)
Disclose what belongs to God 1:18 16:13–14

Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 2055–2056). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Verse 8

John 16:8

convict -- reason (Acts 24:25); reprove, convict, refute, confute, to find fault with, correc.

sin and righteousness and judgment --Note Paul’s three point sermon to Felix in Acts 24:25.

Note how the Holy Spirit today works by using the words of inspired men.

1) He produces faith - Romans 10:17

2) He begets - 1 Corinthians 4:15

3) He quickens - Psalms 119:50

4) He causes to be born of the Spirit - 1 Peter 1:23

5) He cleanses - John 15:3

6) He purifies - 1 Peter 1:22

7) He sanctified - John 17:17

8) He leads - Psalms 119:105 ; Galatians 5:18; Ephesians 1:3; Acts 8:14 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 2:5;

9) He comforts - 1 Thessalonians 4:18

10) He builds us up - Acts 20:32

The Spirit does exactly for us what He did in the first century . Then He used inspired men, the words of inspired speakers, today He used the writings of inspired men!

Everything the Bible affirms the Spirit does, the Bible affirms He does it through the inspired Word.

Compare note on Ephesians 3:17.

Verse 9

John 16:9

of sin ... People who believe in Jesus believe what he says about their guilt and turn to him.

Verse 10

John 16:10

of righteousness ... Some hold that this refers to God’s righteousness, or even to justification, but these readings do not easily explain why the world is convicted of righteousness. More plausibly, the world is convicted of its righteousness, which is entirely false (e.g., displayed by the self-righteousness of many of the Jewish religious leaders throughout John’s Gospel).

Verse 11

John 16:11

of judgment ... God’s Word teaches that there is a judgment to come.

because the ruler of this world ... is judged could also be translated “has been judged”; the perfect-tense verb kekritai (Gk.) has the sense of “has been judged and continues in the state resulting from that judgment.”

Verse 12

John 16:12

not able to bear them ... Jesus has told them information that would be difficult to accept—such as His coming suffering and death and the fact that He won’t be physically present with them after His ascension. He also likely means that they are not yet ready to accept how difficult following Him will be. He has spoken about these challenges in general, but the specifics may be too difficult to hear.

This line confirms that when Jesus stated that He had shared everything with His disciples (John 15:15), He meant that He had shared everything regarding salvation—not everything He knew about God the Father, His plans, and the future.

Verse 13

John 16:13

Spirit of Truth -- HOLY SPIRIT

Member of Godhead- Matthew 28:19, 1 John 5:7-8,

"He"- John 16:13; John 1:1-17, Acts 8:29,

Gave us God’s word- 2 Peter 1:21,

"Sword of Spirit" is "Word"- Ephesians 6:17,

Holy Spirit baptism- Occurred twice

1. On Pentecost-- To give power to the apostles-- Acts 1:8 & Acts 2:1-4

2. At Cornelius’ house to show that gentiles accepted- Acts 11:15-18 & Acts 15:7-8.

3. Paul later wrote that there is now only "One Baptism"- Ephesians 4:4

4. Baptism in the name of Christ is water baptism- Acts 10:47-48 and Acts 2:38. It is commanded of everyone- Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16

Verse 14

John 16:14

glorify me ... Just as Jesus gave glory to the Father, John 17:4

make known ... The Spirit disclosed the truth to the Apostles through revelation and inspiration, and to us through the inspired word of these Apostles and other Spirit filled prophets. (cf. 2 Peter 1:21)

Verse 16

John 16:16

a little while... John now speaks of impending death, his resurrection when they will see him again for a few days, and then his ascension back to the Father.

Verse 17

John 16:17

The apostles being on their side of the cross (time-wise) didn’t understand as we are able to today, in hind-sight.

Verse 21

John 16:21

a woman -- in labor ... Jesus illustrates the dramatic change from pain to joy.

Verse 23

John 16:23

whatever you ask ... see. John 15:7;

Verse 25

John 16:25

The hour is coming ... refers to the time after Jesus’ resurrection when he would explain much more directly to them the meaning of all that he had done (see Luke 24:27; Acts 1:3).

Verse 26

John 16:26

In that day ... After Jesus’ resurrection, there would be a restored relations that would allow individual disciples to ask the Father to meet their needs. (John 14:23).

in my name -- In the NT, formal or liturgical prayer is usually offered through Christ to the Father in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18), but on occasion to the Lord Jesus (Acts 7:59-60; Acts 9:10-17; Acts 22:16, Acts 22:19) cf. (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Acts 1:24; Acts 9:21; Revelation 22:20) -

Verse 28

John 16:28

I came forth ... speaks of Jesus’ incarnation.

Verse 32

John 16:32

you will be scattered ... This seeems to speak of the desertion of the Apostles when Jesus is confronted in the garden by the mob that arrests him. (Matthew 26:31) Jesus contrasts the apostles actions to his Father’s faithfulness.

Verse 33

John 16:33

may have peace ... Jesus wants his apostles to know they can still be at peace when he dies and when their own suffering comes.

in the world ... tribulation ... Paul echos this message in 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:4. John himself later was in tribulation also Revelation 1:9.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on John 16". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/john-16.html. 2021.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile